We cannot get the best out of food if we are still full. We may not know real love, if we are surrounded with people who accept us every time. Humility cannot be attained unless we’re not full of ourselves. Every value, in order to be greatly experienced, shall come in short for us. We should not only want to experience these, but hunger for these instead.
That, my friends, is what God wants to show us through unanswered prayers. He wants us to experience Him more, compared to the answers that we’re looking for. Therefore unanswered prayers are a blessing. A gift that reminds us that God’s grace is sufficient for us.
The grace which saved us from eternal torment in hell, the grace that gave us the best plan about our lives. It is more than enough for us.
Unanswered prayers are not rejection coming from God, but are His way of redirecting us instead. Remember that He always has something better than what we think is best for us. So hold on tight, and never let go. Trust Him. He’ll never fail you.
Trusting God does not end on reading His word, spending time with Him every morning, or reflecting about who He is in your life everyday. It is a continuous process- where we learn that to trust God entails selflessness, and believing in each and every promise He has for us in the Bible. Trusting God helps us to develop a more intimate relationship with Him, enabling us to experience new, supernatural things in our Christian life.
Trust in Him. He has the best plans for you.
Intimacy and service are two things that are different, yet still, we find confusing if took into action. We often think that service is a way to be intimate with God, when this is the reason why we lose track of our relationship with Him. That’s because service, requires effort, and our time- making us focused in it executing it, rather giving time to our daily walks with God.
I’m not saying that we should not serve Him. We shall try and look at Martha and Mary’s example in the Bible.
When Jesus arrived in the two sisters’ house, Martha chose to serve Him by cleaning the windows, sweeping the floors, and preparing food. Mary, on the other hand, chose to sit down on Jesus’ feet, and listened to Him. Martha was angered because all her efforts seemed nothing to Jesus. And Mary, who almost did nothing but listened, was given more attention than her.
But Jesus rebuked Martha, saying that she made a good choice, but Mary’s choice is better.
Martha had chosen to serve Jesus through performing well in the household. While Mary had chosen to listen intently to His words- staying focused and calm unlike her sister.
Apparently, Mary chose to be intimate with God as her priority, while her sister became tired of performing for Him. She quickly became weary because she has no focus, unlike Mary, who nailed her eyes on to Him.
Intimacy with God will always be a better choice than serving God. Its like going to the roots of good service first, than jumping to service right away. So let us choose establishing a great deal of intimacy with God first than making every effort to do good deeds. After all, we are save because of His grace, not by our works.
Pursue intimacy with Him. That, should be our first priority.
We all run a race in our lives. May it be a sprint to graduation or a marathon for marriage- everything that we work hard on, is a race. A run that is supposed to be started well as the sound of the gun is released. A race which should be finished the best way we can- getting to that finish line.
The path may look clear as we start the race, but we may never know what distractions will come in your way. Our appetite for other things might get in our way sooner or later. It might trip us, weaken us, and unfortunately, might be the reason why we will give up, and decide not to finish the race well.
But what are these appetites that hinder us from getting to that last end of the race well?
Well, an appetite for the things of this world- an appetite for the flesh, wealth, power, and money, primarily distracts us in the race that we run into. These things take us away from God, making us lost, weak, and insecure.
But what are we supposed to do to suppress this appetite we have for the things of this word?
Pursue intimacy with God. Spend more time with him. Pray, listen to His word, talk to other people who share the same love for God as you have, and worship Him are few of the many things we can do to attain that intimacy with Him. Because there’s no other way to suppress one’s appetite for the things of this world than to put your appetite for something else. Well in this case, its about craving for that appetite coming from God- the desire to be like Him, the desire to start well, and to finish better.
The world has grown its own beliefs that we forget the most reliable source of the truth- the Bible. We instead rely on ourselves, than relying on God’s will for us. W feed of the things we get from what we know we can achieve, than feed from His word. This, makes us crippled in a way that we can’t finish the race anymore.
Just remember, finishing things well is way more important than starting the race great.
We all know what sorrow is. We see it in someone’s eyes- watery and red. It’s an idea we got from mourning over something tragic. A manifestation of an emotion we dread to feel- pain.
But to mourn for something because of guilt is illegitimate, as our pastor had said. Its like crying because you’re caught doing the wrong things, which you’ll do again later.
He says that mourning rooted from anything directed towards God is the legitimate thing to cry about. To cry because you have not acted like a Christian, to feel bad for doing things that you know is wrong, and to not act upon a sin as early as possible are few of the right things to be sorrowful about.
Sorrow has its roots from God, not from us. Its something that opens a door for us to grow, it gives an opportunity to make us stronger. Cry for the right things. Not for the rather, wrong, crooked ways.
God has the best plans for us. Who knows what will happen after all the miserable things that you’ve experienced before?
We might not understand God’s will for us. It will take faith to persistently believe that what He desires is the best for us. His plans are beyond perfect; its something that we cannot comprehend.
So let us step out in faith, believe, and pray.
My hand can’t just put money in the tithe box whenever I am in our church. Thoughts of my daily allowance coming in short just hinders me from giving. Not having enough money to fill my desire for food, walking and tiring myself just to get to school with an ample allowance are two things that I fear, that I always try to avoid.
Clearly, I rarely give money back to the Lord. But as I have heard our pastor’s preaching just a while ago, I realized that the right attitude in giving is found in the Bible.
Giving out of respect, and giving cheerfully are the two attitudes that we shall practice, as the Bible has said. But before we can do these two, a genuine and intimate relationship shall be established first. Whether it is with God, or with other people, we can only show respect and be happy towards others if, and only if we have a good relationship with them.
Well that only means that I do not have a deep and intimate relationship with God to practice this right attitude that He has been saying. I’m not here to talk about how can we build sturdier relationships, but am here to make us aware of how our attitude towards giving gives some sort of a clue on the current status of our relationships.
So if you feel not like giving time, money, or something else to your friends, well it seems that you have a pseudo-relationship. Who wants to live in a world with untrue relationships?
Perhaps, we better give early, than see others give up on you.
Do you wonder why some people just act so aggressively over something that is so shallow? Like being angry because of traffic jams, spreading rumors, and even because of a pencil! People’s emotions are just unprecedented, and is inevitable for some. We will always be clueless whether people are to respond aggressively or foolishly in some situations.
All of these unprecedented actions are all rooted in our inner selves- either we are an adult that has a childish self, or an adult, trapped inside a child’s body. Apparently, foolish actions are caused by a childish, inner self, which causes us to decide irrationally, and leads us to do things that are immature.
But what we can do to outgrow such a childish inner self? Put it this way: assume you have two dogs inside your body, one is white and one is black. The golden rule here is that you must nourish the white one, and starve the black one. This means that we should feed our good ego, instead of starving it to feed the bad ego that we have.
It does not favor any race. God has welcomed every single person of this world to His arms. It is faith that matters to Him, not proper observation of tradition.
A Christian life lived without faith is like blaming God for an uncharged cellphone. You could’ve charged the phone yourself, so why blame God for not being able to use it?
Faith is a word familiar to all of us. But not knowing its ‘real’ meaning in our lives makes it a word without any relevance.
So what is faith according to the bible?
- A life lived without faith does not please God. Like what I have said, living the Christian life without faith is impossible. To make things clearer, here’s an illustration: You’ve given your girlfriend tons of flowers for your anniversary, but she was not pleased. It is because she wants something simpler, something inexpensive and something that comes from your heart. Well, in God’s case, He just wants us to have faith in Him and in His word.
- Faith believes that God’s word is true. The Bible is a book God made for us. It serves as a testimony to everything that God had done in the past, and what will He do in the future. It is also a book of promises that are meant to uplift us in times of trouble. He wants us to believe in these promises. He wants us to have faith in His word.
- Faith believes that God will greatly reward those who believe. As I have said, the Bible is full of promises. He assures us that we will experience the rewards of the said promises as long as we believe in it. That’s a promise in a promise and I’m sure that God will never disappoint.
Faith is all about believing in something that you cannot see. Its about being certain about something. So putting it in our lifestyle makes our life even better. It helps us to do things that we never thought we’re capable of. It helps us to see things the way God wants us to see it.
A color of Christmas: Gold.
Malapit nanaman ang pasko. Aalalahanin nanaman natin ang kapanganakan ni Jesus Christ, ang buong pusong pagtanggap nila Mary at Joseph sa responsibilidad na ibinigay sa kanila at aalalahanin ulit natin ang lubos na pagpapakumbaba na ipinamalas ng Diyos nang ipinangak si Jesus Christ sa sabsaban.
Pero, ano nga ba ang pasko para sa atin? Isa ba itong araw kung saan bida si Santa Claus? Isang araw kung kailan makatatanggap tayo ng mga bagay na gusto natin? o isang araw kung saan bibigyan natin ng regalo ang tunay na may birthday, walang iba kundi si Jesus Christ.
Ngunit anong regalo ba ang maari nating ibigay sa kanya? Siguro worship. Siguro pagbabago. Siguro isang pangako na magbibigay ka ng mas mahabang oras sa pagdarasal kaysa sa internet. Kahit ano man ang regalo natin sa kanya, tatanggapin niya ito, basta naman malinis ang motibo natin sa pagbibigay ng mga regalong ito.
Pero bakit ginto ang isa sa mga kulay ng pasko? Dahil hindi lang bata, patay o nakapako sa krus si Jesus Christ. Isa siyang hari. Hindi isang taong nangangailangan ng ating tulong o isang taong lalapitan lang natin tuwing tayo’y may pinagdadaanan. Tsaka simbolo ng pagiging hari ang ginto, diba?
Kaya, ang pasko ay hindi tungkol kay Santa Claus o tungkol sa atin. Ito ay tungkol kay Jesus Christ at sa kanyang paghahari sa ating buhay, wala nang iba.
Alam niyo ba na mag kaiba ang salitang alone at lonely?
Akala ko rin dati, iisa lang ang mga salitang yun, pero sa totoo lang, hindi pala. Ang pagiging alone kasi, hindi resulta ng pagkakaroon ng dysfunctional relationship sa Diyos at sa mga tao. Ito ay isang moment, kung saan nakakapagusap tayo sa Diyos.
Ang pagiging lonely naman ay resulta ng pagkakaroon ng dysfunctional relationship sa Diyos at sa ibang tao. Hindi naman kasi tao ang lumalayo sa’yo, tayo lang ang pilit lumalayo. Pilit natin sinisisi sa iba kung bakit tayo lonely, pero nasa sa atin lang naman ang problema.
Reach out to God. Reach out to people.
Yan ang dalawang bagay na dapat natin gawin, para hindi tayo maging lonely. Kaya’t sirain na natin ang mga walls na itinayo natin, at subukang magtayo ng relationships sa ibang tao at higit sa lahat, sa Diyos.
Imagine living in a world without any emotions. Imagine not smiling when something good has happened to you, imagine not crying when your loved one dies. Living in a world without any emotions is like watching a black and white television, wherein we see no colors that can either amaze us in its own beauty or make us cry, out of its sheer coldness.
Our emotions, may it be good or bad, are essential for us as a human being. It is something that completes our humanity, it is something that makes us whole as a person. Pero, whenever we feel something bad within us, such as regret, guilt or any other negative emotion, what do we often do about it?
First, we wallow in self-pity. Although it may sound ironic, this is one of our frequent resorts whenever we feel bad of ourselves. Pero, why ironic? Because wallowing in self-pity does nothing to our current situation, it just worsens it. Hindi ba’t parang napaka-ironic tignan na pumupunta tayo sa isang ‘solusyon’, na papalalain lang yung sitwasyon natin.
Second, we make our own way out of it. We either eat our heart out, or shop too much whenever we are in the brink of depression. Pero what does this do to us? It acts just like a ‘pain-killer’ and not a permanent solution to our problem.
Therefore, our negative emotions are not to be responded through wallowing ourselves in self-pity or by temporary, feel-good solutions. It should not be seen as something bad, for these negative emotions are being used by God to let us see something that we have never seen before. Dahil kung hindi tayo masasaktan, hindi tayo matututo.
I’ve always wanted to live a life kung saan wala akong pinagsisihan. Yung walang ‘sana, ganito, ganyan’, yung walang ‘kung sana’. Wala ka na kasi magagawa kundi tignan at malungkot sa ginawa mo.
There will always be times kung saan, magkakamali tayo. Magkakamali sa bawat desisyon na ginagawa natin o sa bawat aksyon na gagawin mo ukol sa isang sitwasyon. Pero, kung marunong siguro tayong mag-focus sa mga bagay na mas importante, hindi natin makikita ang mga distractions na dulot ng ating pagsisisi.
Sabi kasi nila, kapag pinagtutuunan natin ng pansin ang isang bagay, hindi na natin makikita ang ibang bagay. Kaya ng utak natin na ibigay ang sarili nito sa iisang bagay, na pinili nating bigyang pansin.
Ang mabuhay ng walang ginagawang maling desisyon ay maaring imposible. Pero ang mabuhay nang walang pinagsisihan, posible. Nasa perspektibo lang natin yan, nasa mga bagay na binibigyan natin ng pansin.